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Which Is Better: Apple Pencil or Apple Smart Folio Keyboard?

The never-ending issue of which Apple accessory to get for your iPad Pro 11 is one of the hottest debates on the internet. There are several factors at play here. First, several vital accessories can transform your iPad into a full-blown laptop. Second, you will probably get only one unless you have an unlimited budget because Apple add-ons are pretty pricey. And even if you do get them all, you probably will gravitate to using only one. Third, Apple loves to upgrade its accessories, throwing its fans a curve ball each time a new version is released. So, the best decision is to see what works best for your needs and choose wisely. We’ll focus on the two most popular: the Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Folio Keyboard. Find out the pros and cons of each accessory before you make your pick.

Apple Pencil 2

Apple released the first version of its famous stylus pen in 2015, followed by an updated version in 2018. Although both perform the same functions, this guide refers to Apple Pencil 2. Not only is it lighter and more compact than Apple Pencil 1, but it charges inductively by attaching itself to the iPad. Gone are the days of connecting it to a lightning cable. In addition, there is no need to pair the Apple Pencil 2 – pop it on the iPad's side magnet and let it do its thing.

Pros:

  • The Apple Pencil 2 is superb for drawing. Whether you are a budding artist or a professional painter, the Apple Pencil transforms each stroke into a precise masterpiece. As soon as you switch to the Pencil, the iPad intuitively recognizes the tip instead of your finger or hand.
  • No lag time. As you glide the Apple Pencil’s tip over the screen, the iPad instantly reads the movement, and you'll see what you are doing in real-time. This feature, also known as low latency, means there is no delay between your hand movement and the display.
  • Touch sensitivity. Once you master using the Apple Pencil, you'll realize that applying more pressure when drawing a line, for example, will make it thicker. Similarly, tilting the Pencil will create shading or more definition, depending on what you want.
  • Writing. Sometimes you don't feel like typing or don't have the space to do so. With the Apple Pencil, you can write down your notes, annotate, add comments, or transcribe essential quotes. Either way, the iPad quickly transforms it into the text if needed.

Cons:

  • Tips need to be replaced. You'll realize when the time has come. Or it feels slightly rough to touch. Don't delay replacing a damaged tip.
  • Pricey. Compared to other stylus pens, the Apple Pencil is not the cheapest. It retails for $129. Apple also throws in free engraving when you buy a Pencil.

Apple Smart Folio Keyboard

The Apple Smart Folio Keyboard instantaneously transforms your iPad Pro 11 into a laptop. This accessory is easy to use and lightweight. The keys are unique and made out of stiff fabric. It is super responsive, quick, and perfectly designed for your hands, as with all Apple keyboards. In addition, Apple marketed the Smart Folio Keyboard as an iPad cover. The keyboard sits inside the folio case, covering the front and the back. So basically, when ready, close the iPad down onto the keys, and the iPad is sandwiched between the covers.

Pros:

  • No pairing is needed. You don’t need to pair or connect your iPad to the Apple Smart Folio Keyboard. Just click it in place by connecting the device’s magnets to those in the groove above the number keys. Fold the folio cover into the type position, and you're ready.
  • No charging is required. Unlike other wireless keyboards, the Smart Folio Keyboard does not need to be charged. The magic happens when it attaches magnetically to your iPad Pro 11’s Smart Connector, powering it up.
  • Portable. This is a great keyboard if you love to work on the go. Whether on a train or bus, waiting at an airport, or grabbing a quick coffee, snap the iPad into the folio cover and type away.
  • Lightweight. The Apple Smart Folio Keyboard is one of the lightest in its range on the market. Slim and weighing just under 300 grams or 0.65 pounds, you can slip it into your bag without weighing you down.

Cons:

  • Expensive. The Smart Keyboard Folio comes at a hefty price tag of $179 for the iPad Pro 11.
  • Cover can slip off. The folio cover does not provide your iPad with maximum protection. A sharp jolt or angled bump can disconnect the magnets holding the cover to your device, exposing it to potential damage.
And on this note, while the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is superb if you need a portable keyboard, we highly recommend investing in an iPad cover with better protection. We love the Zugu iPad Pro 11 case. Made out of highly durable TPU plastic and with reinforced corners, the Zugu iPad cover provides you with major drop protection.